LibriVox recording of Better Angel, by Richard Meeker.
Read by Greg W.
In 1933, Forman Brown wrote, under the pseudonym Richard Meeker, a controversial novel called Better Angel, about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. This novel is regarded as "the first American novel to present the 'gay' experience in a healthy light." (Summary by Wikipedia)
For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.
For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox.org.
February 14, 2010 Subject:
Subtle and inspiring novel - a must-listen.
Coming-to-terms, coming-out... The gay Bildungsroman now crowds the shelves, but in 1933 a book like "Better Angel" was a rarity. Then the few gay voices in fiction (Proust, Radclyffe Hall) tended to be brave but preachy on the subject: self-justifying, self-diagnosing, even self-hating.
Richard Meeker's 1933 novel is a lovely exception. The characters naturally reflect contemporary ideas of the homosexual but they are appealing individuals; people trying to love and be loved. The hero is an innocent, a cautious introvert aching with loneliness and desperate for love and trust. His good looks and artistic talent win him friends. But is the more worldly David the one he needs to be ultimately happy?
Greg W's narration is restrained, measured - ideally suited to the character of the hero. He draws you into the story beautifully and, in my case, sent me back to the beginning for an immediate second reading.